Fall Workshop: Soil Health & Permaculture at Quay Ranch

posted in: Champions, Field Days | 0
Quay Ranch in May 2022. Image by I.Jenniches CC BY 2.0

Please join us for a SOIL HEALTH & PERMACULTURE WORKSHOP on October 21-23 at QUAY RANCH in Tucumcari, NM with Soil Health Champions Jan-Willem Jansens (Ecotone Landscape Planning) and Navona Gallegos (Quay Ranch).

Learn how soil health and permaculture practices can work together to support new plant growth. Get hands-on experience with techniques that spread and sink water, slow erosion and restore the soil. The workshop builds on previous ones in May 2021 and May 2022 —come see the progress made!

This event is hosted in partnership among Quay Ranch, Ecotone Landscape Planning, and the NM Healthy Soil Working Group.

Join a group of 20 to 25 people with a love of Earth and community for a fun and interesting work weekend on the land. We will gather at Quay Ranch about 5 miles north of Tucumcari, New Mexico. The ranch stretches across nearly 600 acres on the southern slopes of the Canadian River watershed with sweeping views toward Ute Lake Reservoir. Water is scarce and our work will focus on how we can spread water, revitalize the soil, and support a rejuvenated, lush prairie. Join us for socializing in the evenings around a simple meal, campfire, music, storytelling, and walks in the sunset or moonlight.

The workshop is free of charge. Breakfast and lunch are on your own with optional food sharing potluck. Suggested donation of $45 toward the cost of two dinner meals. Bring a tent and camping gear for off-grid camping if you are staying overnight. You can also just join for Saturday –please arrive no later than 9am for work instructions.

Please wear sturdy clothes and boots, a sun hat, sunscreen, and bring bug spray, work gloves, and big jugs of water. The work will involve carrying rock and woody materials to build small erosion control structures. We will supply tools, such as rock carriers, shovels, rakes, picks, pruners, and hand saws.

The land on Quay Ranch is gently sloped to nearly flat and the soil is mostly loamy clay with some rocky cliffs, erosion holes, and uneven terrain. The ecosystem includes many prickly pear and cholla cacti, yucca, and mesquite, which all have spines and thorns, as well as rattle snakes, which are shy but assertive to strike when disturbed. Ravens, raptors, coyotes, mule deer, and several kinds of rodents also call this landscape home. Care and respect toward nature are important in order to avoid conflict, harm, or injury.

The workshop program will include soil health education and instruction, guided practice and
independent work on the implementation of a number of soil and water conservation practices. These
practices include one-rock dams, rock (“Zuni”) bowls, rock rundowns, construction of Hügel dams, lop
and scatter of brush, brush mats, broadcast seeding, mulching and application of soil inoculants.
We gather between 4 and 5 pm on Friday October 21 for registration, camping directions, and dinner
prep. The program will start at 5:30 pm.

Friday October 21, 2022
5:30 pm Gathering for personal introductions and dinner; and dinner cleanup.
7:00 pm Tour of the 2021-2022 restoration area with an introduction to the soil health principles and
ranch conservation planning, workshop goals, and the roles and services of the participating
8:30 pm Socializing, relaxation, campfire, storytelling, evening walks, etc.

Saturday October 22, 2022
8:00 am Gathering for work instructions, logistics and organizing of work teams, transportation of tools
and supplies.
9:00 am Instruction and Team work: demonstration, training, and feedback.
12:30 pm Lunch (in the field)
1:00 pm Team work with coaching
3:30 pm Review and tour of accomplishments (with feedback)
4:30 pm Cleanup for the day and return to camp
6:00 pm Dinner and cleanup
7:30 pm More about soil health and the ranch
8:30 pm Socializing, relaxation, campfire, storytelling, evening walks, etc.

Sunday October 23, 2022
8:30 am Gathering for work instructions and to start work
12:00 noon Finishing touches, completion, and cleanup of site projects
12:30 pm Lunch (in the field)
1:00 pm Review of accomplishments: show me tour of all the work
2:00 pm Workshop evaluation, celebration, appreciations
2:30 pm Cleanup, return and storage of tools, break up camp
3:00 pm Adjourn and travel home

Image by I.Jenniches CC BY 2.0

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